Provost Newsletter - July 2023

July 10, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

Artificial intelligence (AI) will disrupt higher education.

ChatGPT told me so.

It must be true.

At the Spring Faculty Meeting, Vice Provost Null shared information about ChatGPT and addressed how we might address the challenges we face when students use ChatGPT to do their work for them and then pass it off as their own. The Honor Code is relevant to these situations, and the Honor Council has developed a set of resources for faculty who suspect improper use of ChatGPT. 

However, there is a much larger question regarding the recent advances in artificial intelligence. How do we help our students work with artificial intelligence in ways that are both powerful and ethical? After all, I believe that the future our students face is likely to be profoundly shaped by artificial intelligence, and we have a responsibility to prepare our students for this future.

ChatGPT can be used as a research partner to help retrieve information and generate ideas, allowing students to delve deeply into a topic. It can be a good writing partner, helping students with grammar, vocabulary, and even style.

Faculty may find ChatGPT as a useful tool for lesson planning ideas. For those utilizing a flipped classroom approach, AI tools may be used to generate ideas and information outside the classroom for collaborative work inside the classroom.

Finally, and most importantly, faculty have the opportunity to engage students in critical ethical conversations about the uses of AI. They need to learn how to assess and use the information ethically. We should provide a Christian witness to all in how we engage in these technologies so that the future our students inhabit is one that is pleasing to God.

I am interested in how YOU are already using artificial intelligence. I am thinking now about how we might collectively address the opportunities afforded by AI. I would appreciate hearing from you. Please send your input to my chief of staff, Dr. Kristina Campos-Davis.

By the way, I consulted ChatGPT in the construction of this message. Any errors or important omissions are entirely my fault.

All the best,

Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D.
Provost

SCOTUS Decision on Race-Conscious Admissions  

Some of you have inquired about Baylor’s response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that eliminates race-conscious admissions decisions for colleges and universities nationwide. This decision will not impact the policies, procedures, and practices used by the University.

Baylor has for years deployed a holistic undergraduate admissions approach that considers a range of prospective student qualifications, including grade point average, class rank, academic achievements, extracurricular activities, personal essays, and letters of recommendation. The same should also hold true for all graduate offerings and professional programs.

While race is not a factor in our admissions decisions, we remain committed to identifying, recruiting, evaluating, admitting, and retaining students who bring a variety of experiences and perspectives to the campus community. We believe student diversity strengthens both our academic and co-curricular learning environments as we strive to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community.

Endowed Chair Holders Announced

Thanks to the work of several excellent search committees, the Office of the Provost is pleased to announce the appointments of the following endowed chairs:

  • The Eula Mae and John Baugh Endowed Chair in Physics- Dr. Garritt J. Tucker.
  • Lev H. Prichard III Endowed Chair in the Study of Black Worship in Black Worship- Dr. Stephen Newby.
  • Jackson Family Endowed Chair in Latin America- Dr. Felipe Hinojosa.
  • William E. Crenshaw Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management- Dr. Hannah Stolze.

Please help us to celebrate these new members of the Baylor faculty to campus in the weeks ahead. Look for additional official announcements in the coming weeks.

New Policy on Tenure-Track Search Committees

Changes have been made to BUPP 716 and 719 that allow lecturers and clinical faculty to serve on search committees for tenured and tenure-track faculty. Previously, there had been a policy that explicitly kept them from being able to serve on these committees. That has been removed. Clinical faculty and lecturers still may not serve on tenure committees, or review tenured or tenure-track faculty. For additional information, please reach out to your dean’s office.

Academic Convocation

All faculty are encouraged to join President Livingstone, Provost Brickhouse, and our new students for Academic Convocation this fall on August 18, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Ferrell Center (participating faculty should plan to be present and robed at 9:30 in the Stone Room). Dr. Rishi Sriram in the School of Education will give a keynote address as we welcome matriculating students into our academic community. Please join us as you are able!

 

Vice Provost’s Corner 

 

Vice Provost for Administration and Operations

New Guidelines for Faculty Recruitment Meal Expenses

  • Meal expenses incurred during faculty recruitment are covered for the day(s) of the interview and for the candidate’s time in transit to and from Waco.
  • Faculty hosts who are based on the main campus should consider having candidate lunches at the McMullen Faculty Center as an option.
  • Baylor will reimburse up to three faculty members accompanying the candidate for one dinner, unless previously approved by the dean.
  • Faculty should avoid excessive meal expenditures. For meals expected to be costlier than usual, faculty should first confer with the dean or unit business officer.
  • Your college or department may have stricter guidelines based on budgetary constraints. For questions, please see your unit business officer.

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

On July 1, the Office of the Provost welcomed Dr. DeAnna Toten Beard into her new role as vice provost for faculty affairs. Dr. Toten Beard is a professor of theatre history and has been a faculty member in the Department of Theatre Arts since 2002.  As vice provost for faculty affairs, Dr. Toten Beard will work to support academic units in the faculty search and hiring process, partner on initiatives for faculty flourishing and retention, and oversee the tenure and promotion process. Dr. Toten Beard is committed to supporting a healthy and professional campus environment characterized by Christian care and looks forward to engaging with faculty colleagues on a regular basis. She can be reached at DeAnna_Toten_Beard@baylor.edu

Vice Provost for Global Engagement

Dr. Eduardo “Eddie” Contreras joined the Office of the Provost on July 1 in his new role as vice provost for global engagement. The Office of the Provost is pleased to welcome Dr. Contreras and looks forward to his tenure at Baylor. Dr. Contreras observes that he is “… humbled by Provost Brickhouse’s invitation to serve as Baylor’s next senior international officer, and excited to work with the extraordinary team of talented professionals in the Center for Global Engagement, as well as the students, staff, and faculty on campus and in the world.” He can be reached at Eddie_Contreras@baylor.edu.     

Vice Provost for Research

Summer Research Bonus

This summer the University made the decision to pay the research bonuses out based on actual rather than projected salary charges to grants. Anyone who charged 20% (or more) of their base salary to grants from Aug. 1 to May 31 should have received the full 13.3% research bonus as a supplemental payment in their June paycheck. Anyone who will need salary charges to post to grants in June, July, or both to meet the 20% threshold qualifying them for the research bonus did not receive any supplemental pay in their June paycheck. These individuals will receive the full research bonus (i.e., the 13.3%) as a supplemental payment in their July paycheck. 

CARA is Live!

Compliance and Research Administration (CARA), our online Compliance and Research Administration System, went live on June 26! CARA will provide the workflow, process transparency, and improved data access for research faculty and all campus stakeholders. 

Pilot training is underway now, and we anticipate CARA to be available to all users in September.

For more information, visit our CARA webpage or download the following documents:

Additional CARA Information Regarding Outside Activities and Financial Interests

Baylor University is pleased to announce our third CARA module that will help manage outside activities and financial interests. CARA is designed to minimize process roadblocks, streamline the disclosure processes, and increase institutional compliance.

All faculty, staff, and researchers will disclose their outside activities and interests in CARA beginning in September. For faculty and staff, CARA replaces the current disclosure form in Ignite. For researchers, CARA replaces the current form and consolidates annual disclosure data with related research certifications, such as institutional review board (IRB) studies and funding proposals.

Training dates for faculty, staff, and researchers will be offered toward the end of August and beginning of September. Stay tuned for more information, and please direct any questions to internal_audit@baylor.edu.   

OVPR Welcomes New Team Members

OVPR will welcome 13 new team members this summer. Engaged through an intentional hiring strategy to break through industry-wide staffing challenges, these veteran administrators bring a combined 100 years of research administration experience from leading R1 institutions like Duke, Rice, UT, Penn State, and others. Please check the URA website for your current URA contacts. Your URAs can assist with proposal development and submission (Pre-Award URA), award spending, and management (Post-Award URA).  

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic Affairs

Student Life: Time to Volunteer for Move2BU 2023

Move-in Day 2023 is almost here! Our 2023 Move2BU days will be August 16 and 17. Sign-ups open campus-wide on July 5. Each year, many faculty members engage in an act of service to incoming students and their families. This simple act makes a profound impact on our new students and their families. The sign-up for faculty members is active and can be accessed online. If you prefer a specific location, please insert a comment to that effect in the comments or notes box. Questions? Email MoveInVolunteer@baylor.edu

Academy for Teaching & Learning: Summer & Early Fall Opportunities

Summer is raging, but fall is on the horizon! As you ponder teaching and prepare course materials, dive into the teaching and course development opportunities provided by the ATL. Time spent with colleagues reflecting on teaching refreshes the academic spirit. Sign-up by clicking on the class title.

  • Adjunct Teaching Workshop, August 12, 2023 | 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Moody 104 (Active Learning Lab). This workshop highlights effective teaching and assessment stra Part-time faculty new to teaching and full-time faculty who want to brush up on teaching practices will especially benefit.
  • Foundations for Teaching Workshop, August 16, 2023 | 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Moody 104 (Active Learning Lab). This free, day-long workshop provides graduate student instructors with a basic toolkit for effective teaching, assessment, and course design.
  • University Teaching Development Grant, September 7, 2023 submission deadline. This grant provides financial support for activities that enhance faculty effectiveness as teachers.
  • University Teaching Exploration Grant, September 15, 2023 submission deadline. This grant provides funding for research projects related to questions of teaching and learning in higher education.

Office of Institutional Effectiveness (IE): Reminder Regarding Substantive Changes

Units that are considering substantive changes (e.g., starting a new program, entering into a collaborative agreement, opening an off-campus teaching site, etc.) should be in contact with the IE office regarding requirements to meet SACSCOC accreditation obligations. Please refer to Baylor’s Substantive Change website and Baylor’s Substantive Change Policy for more information. 

 

Spotlight on the Academy 

 

Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Congresswoman Crockett Tours BU Nursing School

The Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing welcomed Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett on Wednesday, June 29 for a tour and brief visit to discuss the trends impacting nursing. She represents Texas’ 30th District, which includes the nursing school in Dallas.

School of Music

Alleluia Conference

The Dunn Center for Christian Music Studies will host its 21st Annual Alleluia ConferenceJuly 18-21. You are invited to join this one-of-a-kind worship leadership conference and enrichment event featuring superb clinicians who re-energize and inspire worship leaders, music ministers, children’s choir leaders and keyboard ministers. Please register at your earliest convenience. 

Concert by Legendary Singer and Baylor Alum David Phelps

Please join us for an extraordinary concert featuring award-winning singer David Phelps on Friday, July 21, at 7:00 p.m. in Jones Concert Hall as part of the 21st Annual Alleluia Conference. Phelps is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of his generation and has released numerous solo albums that have touched the hearts of millions of fans around the world. Tickets are now on sale

University Libraries

Dean Expands Responsibilities

On June 1, Dean Jeffry Archer expanded his responsibilities to become dean of university libraries, museums, and the press. Bringing the Mayborn Museum Complex and Baylor University Press together under Dean Archer’s leadership will enhance natural collaborations already in place among these campus units and the University Libraries. As you have the opportunity, do congratulate Dean Archer on this appointment and email him with any questions.

 

Important Academic Dates 

 

Additional deadlines are available on the Academic Units Deadlines calendar

  • August 3- Academic Leadership Seminar (Option 2).
  • August 7-9- Provost's Retreat.
  • August 11- Chair Leadership Retreat (all chairs).
  • August 12- Commencement.
  • August 14 & 15- New Faculty Orientation.
  • August 14- New Faculty Dinner.
  • August 19- Faculty Senate Retreat.
  • August 21- First day of class.
  • September 26- Fall Faculty Meeting (Hurd Welcome Center).

Previous issues of the Provost Newsletter can be accessed on the Office of the Provost website.